How to write your CV

Doctors Direct has years of practice in recruiting the best candidates and as a result has a wealth of knowledge to pass on when it comes to writing a CV that will get you noticed, for all the right reasons.

Knowing what to include in your CV and in what order can be quite daunting. This guide aims to help you on your way to creating a CV that provides succinct and impactful information, that best represents you and your achievements.

Getting started

TIP: Use a confident tone and positive language when writing your CV.

Your CV should be no more than 1-2 pages long and only communicate the information you feel is most relevant or important to the role for which you are applying. Keeping your CV short and sharp will help to hold the attention of the reader.

At the top of your CV you need to provide your full name, GMC number, email address and telephone number.

Most people then like to add a short bio, or ‘personal statement’ summing up your current personal situation, and your career aspirations. This should only be a few sentences long but should highlight your skillset enough that the reader wants to know more about you.

TIP: Look at the key information that the role requires and tailor your personal statement to highlight the skills you have that match what they are looking for.

Your Education

This should be displayed in reverse-chronological order. This section often takes up valuable space on your CV but try to include the most relevant information here. You will want to add the dates you were studying, the establishment name, location, course and grades achieved.

Your Experience

Next you need to add your work experience [1] in reverse-chronological (most recent at the top). You will want to confirm where the experience took place (organisation and location) and the duration.

TIP: Update your CV regularly. Sending an old CV will look unprofessional, so make sure that yours is up to date to meet the requirements of any roles you see advertised.

It can be helpful to differentiate between paid and voluntary work. The areas of expertise and skills you used during this time need to be included along with any projects you worked on. It can be easy to overcomplicate your CV with too much detail on the role, as often this will have been copied from a job description. In your CV you want to get across transferrable skills and personal strengths that will be of interest. CV’s should detail specific skills, systems and processes you have used. 

Gaps in your CV

If you have had any time during study or employment it is useful to explain this on your CV.

For example

‘X date to X date – travelling round South America’

‘X date to X date – volunteering with “Charity name” providing basic infection control information to young families in remote villages in Africa.

Closing your CV

At the end of your CV it’s good to add any additional information that is relevant to your application but does not necessarily fit in to any of the other sections.

It may be that you have some interests, hobbies, experience or short courses that you want to share, here would be the best place for them.

TIP: Ask someone to look through your CV to check for any mistakes you may have overlooked.

[1] clinical attachments, shadowing experience, placements, voluntary work, paid employment